cottage food

California eases regulations on home-made food businesses, boosting startups

by Michelle Macaluso, FOXNews.com  |  published on January 6, 2013

California’s homemade food makers are now able to sell their products to restaurants and grocery stores, thanks to a new law that went into effect this year.

The California Homemade Food Act created a new category of producers called “cottage food producers,” which will allow people to cook their food items right from their kitchens at home.

“We all are very optimistic and excited,” said Patricia Kline of San Francisco, who makes and sells small fruit pies.

Kline sells her pies at farmer’s markets, online and also does special events like weddings and lunches. She says one of the huge barriers to enter into this business was the requirement to use commercial kitchens.

“Having the this law in place will allow me to be able to take advantage of orders that come in that day, and take advantage of pop-up opportunities and pick-up wholesaling,” she said.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, a Democrat from Los Angeles, helped pioneer the new law after he read a story about Mike Stambler, a bread maker from Los Angeles who had his business shut down in 2011 after authorities discovered he was selling bread he made from his home. Gatto saw this as an opportunity to help those like Stambler and drafted the bill.

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